Kapow! Lebanese Lemon-Parsley Bean Salad

Lebanese Lemon-Parsley Bean Salad - cookieandkate.com

I worked in a dreadful office environment for a while. By “a while,” I mean 565 loooong days. Some days, I watched the sunrise and sunset through my car windows during my stop-and-go highway commute. Maybe you know how that goes. Maybe you’re reading this from a similarly dreadful office environment. If so, I feel for you.

Anyway, every day upon arrival, I plunked down at my desk with my big mug of coffee and started counting down the minutes until lunchtime. I usually brought my own lunch to save money, but some days I just had to escape the office and find refuge in a restaurant. I’m not sure I would have made it through those days without a good lunch.

homemade hummus and pita chips

On the worst days, I treated myself to lunch at The Mediterranean Deli. Half cafe, half import grocery store, it is a quaint, no-frills, hidden treasure in Oklahoma City. It was my safe haven, a place where I could catch up with my favorite blogs while I waited for my meal. I was always torn between the vegetarian platter (oh, that falafel!) and the colorful salad sampler. Either way, I always walked out the door with a happy belly, feeling like everything was a little more right with the world.

Lemon-parsley hummus

On my return drives, I would marvel at all the other cars on the road. “These people are free!” I assumed, with delirious envy. “Free to do whatever they please! Free to soak up the sunshine and fresh air!” My rational side usually reminded me that they were not as free as I imagined. Maybe they had screaming babies in their back seats, or they were on their way to get a root canal. Maybe they were stopping for a latte on their way home from yoga class, in which case, I was justifiably jealous.

Giving up my favorite lunch was probably the only downside to quitting my office job. I literally skipped out the door on my last day and never looked back. I don’t mean to talk down on all office jobs—I think some can be really fun and rewarding—but that one left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m actually very glad for the experience, though. It changed my course for the better. I got bored and channeled my energy into a creative project that I called Cookie and Kate, for lack of a better name. Three years later, I’m typing up a post in my pajamas, and I’m about to head to the fridge and pull out some leftover bean salad. This glorious, glorious freedom is not lost on me.

pita chips with hummus and bean salad

Today’s recipes are inspired by the meals I enjoyed at The Mediterranean Deli. I often miss their kidney bean salad, which was so much more exciting than it sounds. I found a recipe for a Lebanese bean salad in one of Elisabeth Rozin’s books that seemed similar, so I made it this weekend. I added chickpeas, celery and garlic. I haven’t tasted the Deli’s version in a while, but they are similarly satisfying, at least.

I also made Elisabeth’s parsley hummus—it was intended to be a separate post, but the bean salad and hummus pair so well that I felt like I should share them together. Both recipes are so full of lemon, parsley and garlic that they taste like a kick in the mouth, in the best way. Kapow! Combined with pita bread, they make a great meal. They also pack well for leftovers, in case you’d like to enjoy them for lunch away from home.

Lemon-parsley bean salad recipe

5.0 from 4 reviews
Lemon-Parsley Bean Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A delightfully crunchy and satisfying bean salad bursting with Mediterranean flavors, including lemon, garlic and fresh herbs. This healthy salad is vegan and gluten free, but mostly just delicious!
Ingredients
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained, or 3 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced in half or thirds lengthwise and chopped
  • 1 ripe red tomato, chopped (skip if you can't find a great tomato)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or mint
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • small pinch red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. In a serving bowl, combine the prepared kidney beans, chickpeas, onion, celery, tomato, cucumber, parsley and dill (or mint).
  2. Make the lemon dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper flakes until emulsified. Pour dressing over the bean and vegetable mixture and toss thoroughly. Serve immediately for the most flavor, or let it marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for a couple of hours or longer.
Notes

Lemon-parsley hummus recipe
5.0 from 4 reviews
Lemon-Parsley Hummus with Baked Pita Chips
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Basic hummus punched up with extra parsley, lemon and garlic. This hummus makes a great snack or appetizer and pairs wonderfully with the lemon-parsley bean salad recipe above.
Ingredients
Hummus
  • 1½ cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 2½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 to 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • dash freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Baked pita chips
  • Whole grain pita bread
  • Olive oil
  • Fine grain sea salt
Instructions
  1. To make the hummus: in a food processor, combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, parsley, tahini, garlic, sea salt and black pepper. Turn on the food processor and slowly drizzle in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Process until the hummus is creamy and relatively smooth, adding more olive oil or a splash of water if necessary. Add salt to taste, transfer to a serving bowl and top with a light drizzle of olive oil.
  2. To bake the pita chips: preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice your pita bread into small wedges, like you would a pizza. Brush pita wedges with olive oil on both sides, and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes, flipping halfway, or until the pita chips are crisp and lightly golden.
Notes

If you like these recipes, you might also enjoy my crispy baked falafel, chickpea salad, stuffed tomatoes, farro and chickpea salad with herbed yogurt, pasta salad and avocado-pesto sandwich.

Comments

  1. says

    I used to work in an office job and I, like you, hated every second of it. I am so grateful I never have to go back to that ever again. I felt like that cubicle sucked my soul out of me. I agree, a good lunch makes crappy jobs and crappy days a little more tolerable.

  2. says

    I still go to school, which I’m sure is not nearly as dreary as an office job, but lunch is my favorite part of the day. Especially if it’s out in the sun. It’s kind of amazing how lunch+sunlight makes me so much happier.

  3. Pru says

    This looks heavenly… I’m in an office job, and can promise you that I’ll be enjoying this while sitting at my desk in my cubicle. I’m happy in my job though, I have a great boss, and it fits right now in my life. You sound happy…and that’s wonderful. Life is good. :-)

  4. says

    Could not agree more. The freelance life is riskier and sometimes more stressful and it’s a whole new way of life, but it is SO MUCH BETTER than my old office job. Thanks for reminding me of that with this post.

  5. says

    This is EXACTLY the sort of food I love to eat! Absolutely filing this one into my recipes bookmark right now :) I’ve just finished working at an office job for the summer & though I did enjoy it, I absolutely empathised with your counting-down-the-minutes-til-lunchtime. Though that said, I think I’d do that in any job!

  6. says

    I was looking for appetizers for a party I’m throwing this weekend, and I think I just found one. This looks amazing! Definitely going to give it a try soon. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Carrie N says

    Thanks for the great dinner idea! I cannot wait to try the bean salad. Hopefully some cucumbers grew last night in the garden.

  8. says

    I totally hear you on relishing freedom. My current job allows me to make my own hours and work basically where and when I want to (even if it’s not my ideal work), but the freedom to make tea when I want to, or sit in the sun for a few moments, is so precious.

    And these recipes? The lemon-garlic-parsley trifecta is one of my favourites, and I love the way you’ve shown it off in two different ways! That salad looks perfect for a hot summer’s day.

  9. says

    Oh my gosh, this post brings back memories! I still work in an office, but it’s a happy one. A previous job wasn’t that way though, and a lunch time escape (although extremely rare) for a good sandwich and a green juice was often the biggest highlight of the day! This salad sounds wonderful. Such simple ingredients, but sometimes simple is the best!

  10. says

    I absolutely know that you mean girl! I am totally jealous of those who do not work an office job and get out of the office very often just to escape. Cubicle=soul sucker. I hope one day I can call my home my office, rather than that nasty office building!

  11. says

    I am pretty sure I couldn’t handle being in an office either. Working in a lab at least I’m almost always on my feet or running around doing things…rarely is it all about sitting in one place for hours!
    There’s a Mediterranean food place across the street from where I work/live and it is fabulous!! Though…I think I’ll start making this bean salad and hummus to save myself some money. Plus they look awesome.

  12. says

    Thankfully, I have never had to sit in an office. So happy about this!!

    But I still need lunch and geez, this is an incredible one! I love the hummus and pita chips and the salad is so my thing! I cannot wait to make this!

  13. says

    I quit my 9-5 to go full-time freelance a few months ago. Definitely a risky move, but regardless of what I end up doing next, I’ve never once looked back and regretted leaving my office job. Sometimes changes are just meant to be made, and leaps of faith too.

    This is totally my style of salad, and I love it! Light, simple and super summery. Looks gorgeous.

  14. Jaan L says

    Oh, La, that bean salad looks sooooo refreshing and tasty, just have to make that for lunch. We eat hummus a lot, make my own and your recipe is right on. Now, you’ve made me craving it….well since I use dried chickpeas, guess I had better get them soaking. Thanks

  15. says

    Ahh, I haven’t had bean salad in ages. And with hummus… a couple of my favorite things! Hoping I have the ingredients so I can try this for an afternoon snack when I get home (from the office… working hard on changing that part! )

  16. says

    even though I dont work in office environment – I am at the office staring at the computer for the most part and it kinda sucks..i love refreshing salads like this and hummus – always a pleasure :)

  17. says

    Girrrrrl I feel you. I used to work in an office environment and it was most definitely not for me. Now I”m a SAHM/part-time freelancer and I don’t know if I can ever go back to a cubicle. Making it work is really tricky but so, so worth it.

    Anyway, this is dish is totally up my alley! I know some people only like parsley as a garnish but I say the more, the better.

  18. says

    Haha this made me giggle. I was in an office job for a while, hated it and longed to start my own cafe. So I did, designing menus, importing ingredients (my community has no roads in or out, and no real supermarket) and creatively using whatever is available to make a nutritious meal for this little town amidst a culture of burgers, chicken wings and fries. Now I’m dying to get back to a job where I sit and do the work that needs doing. Ha! Oh to create food by choice, in my own home, without customers! Being able to get income from having a blog must be the ultimate.

  19. says

    565 days- not like you were counting or anything, huh? :) I’m straining to get to that position- of comfortably posting from pajamas- and it’s always nice to see when someone else has made it, it makes me feel like I can, too!

  20. says

    Your pictures are gorgeous. They made me crave bean salad and hummus quite badly. I’ve never been in a toxic office environment before, having been self-employed all my life. While I’ll never give up this line of work in a million years, even self-employment has its downs every once in a while. Everything is relative, I guess.

  21. says

    So funny, I’m eating a bean salad- with greens- and hummus for lunch right now! Why didn’t I remember the parsley? Your spread looks delicious :)

  22. says

    I can relate. I quit my office job last year to make cakes…the best decision I’ve made! This bean salad and hummus looks heavenly. I have pinned it, and now I am going to make it (like tomorrow!) Thank you for sharing!

  23. says

    I’m such a fan of mediterranean food, and bean salads in particular. I love the dill in your version. I don’t use it too often, but when I do, I’m always surprised at how much I love it. I can’t imagine having an office job. Right now I work in a climbing gym, and I must say it suits me well – I get to work in a wonderful environment and do what I love nearly every day. And then I can come home and blog!

  24. says

    Hi Kate, I’m a fellow Oklahoma girl! I currently have an office job in Tulsa and feel exactly like you described. It was a nice reminder that I’m not alone and that it is possible to create other opportunities for myself! My ultimate goal is to be self-employed, not sure how I’ll get there but am working on figuring out how. Anyways, just wanted to say thanks for sharing! The bean salad looks amazing – I can’t wait to try it!

    • says

      Thanks, Jordan! It’s great to hear from another Oklahoma girl. If you really want to be self-employed, I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to make it happen! Hope you love the salad.

  25. says

    I can totally relate to this. I used to work in an office (advertising), and it was OK for awhile, but over the years, I just really grew to hate it. The best part of the day (besides LEAVING) was lunch, for sure. I eventually quit and went to culinary school. Now I do freelance recipe development/testing, as well as the food blogging thing, and I’ve never regretted it. Even for a minute.

  26. says

    Hi Kate,

    I just thought I’d let you know (in case you didn’t know) but your website is completely nonfunctional on my Android through Chrome. I just see the first photo and that’s it. Hopefully you can fix it. I can read it properly on my desktop Chrome.

  27. says

    Interestingly, I loved my corporate job and miss every second of it. It’s been a few years now and I can still recall how rewarding it was — an open office concept without so much of a cubicle. The lunches were pathetic but I used to pack from home or drove somewhere further for a better lunch. Win some, lose some I guess ;)

    Having satisfaction in what we do on a daily basis is so important and I’m glad you’ve found yours!

    I could’ve easily get lost into this beautiful bean salad and wonderous hummus. Yum!

  28. says

    Reading this post made me think you were in my head. I’m sure the recipe was lovely, but to be honest, you got me daydreaming about making lunch in my pajamas, working from home, and working for myself. That sounds better than chocolate right now. (1 hour to go-home time…)

  29. Paige says

    Hi Kate,
    I’ve made a few of your recipes and loved all of them! This one is delicious, but I’ve realized garlic and onions just don’t sit well with me. I want to make the salad again though, can you recommend any substitutions? I would so appreciate it! :)

    • says

      Hey Paige! I’m sorry that garlic and onions are causing you trouble. If green onions/chives don’t bother you, you might try adding some chopped chives. Otherwise, I’d say leave out the garlic and onion altogether. It won’t have as much flavor, but I think it will still be good, especially since celery is involved. Here are some tips I found that you might find helpful:

      • Paige says

        For some reason your tips didn’t come through, but I still appreciate it! I will definitely try the chives. I’ve only made a few of your recipes, but they have all been delicious(I am super excited to make the butternut squash chili again this fall!). Thanks for doing what you do. :)

  30. Juliana says

    This recipe for bean salad is amazing! I’ve tried replicating the salads that I have at Lebanese restaurants but I think I’m always off with the amounts of ingredients and it never turns out quite right. You got it bang on with this one!!! :)

  31. Ashley says

    I love this so much! I served it with roasted tomato hummus as I made some a couple nights ago. Soooo good!

  32. Karen says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this salad recipe! I am going to be living on this all summer long! It is exactly what I was looking for. Love your blog Kate!

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